Welcome to issue #98 of Tape Op.
In this issue we're proud to feature one of the most compelling articles I think we've ever run: the documenting of Manny Nieto's journey to China and Southeast Asia, culled from years of email correspondence, as he attempts to record local musicians in a variety of locations. What started as a slightly crazy idea bloomed into several years of travel and tracking; and, in the end, Manny's life was changed in many ways. But the one lesson I really took away from his experience was one of personal growth as a human who records other humans. When we immerse ourselves in the world of music recording it's easy to get jaded, burnt-out, or to take this work for granted. But we must always remember the reasons we are here in the first place. To recall "those emotions, like the first time I plugged a mic in" — as Manny puts it — is important to our understanding of who we are and why we are involved in the art of capturing sounds. We must always question the ways we work, how we interact with artists, and always make sure we are doing something we believe in. You'll see a different version of this journey in Ed Stasium's studio life. Lou Whitney has also carved a career path in a dissimilar, yet compelling, way. Every one of these people remain excited about music, musicians, and creating new art. Or as Lou says, "I've never met anybody in this business who got to the top who wasn't a fan."
PS: It's sad to report that we lost another friend in the recording world. Mike Spitz of ATR Services and ATR Magnetics passed away October 12th due to illness. ATR is still making analog tape, repairing decks and carrying on Mike's fine legacy, but he will be missed by many.